Illustration for ‘Demanding Democracy: The Case for a Scottish Media’

cover5‘With a few notable exceptions, the Scottish mainstream media has not been able to rise to the challenge presented by the growing self-determination movement. When it isn’t hopelessly biased towards a status quo that will never thank it for its efforts, it is cowed, apologetic and sinking rapidly in its own irrelevance. It needs a radical overhaul. This book not only reiterates why this has to happen, but also shows us how it might come to pass.’ – Irvine Welsh

Right: an illustration for the front cover of ‘Demanding Democracy: The Case for a Scottish Media’ (Word Power Books) by Christopher Silver.

 

Announcement on The Summer of Independence

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One year on from the referendum, I’m very pleased to announce that The Summer of Independence, an illustrated book of stories from the campaign, will be published with Word Power Books over the coming months.

‘… the story of a remarkable moment in Scottish history, told with the passion that characterised the movement … an important contribution to our understanding of what we created and are still creating.’ – Bella Caledonia

‘… a beautifully written and illustrated journey through the momentous closing stages of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign … an intimate, lucid and poignant insight into the very heart of the Yes movement by one of the co-founders of National Collective.’ – Scott Lyall

Today I have also been interviewed about the upcoming book by Commonspace, which can be found here.

Edinburgh Police Box Festival

The Edinburgh Police Box Festival last weekend was the first festival of its kind. Eleven old police boxes around the city opened their doors as miniature venues for food, charity and art shows, receiving positive coverage from The Spurtle, The Edinburgh Evening News, STV and others.

I was delighted to be asked to design the festival map, and to be given a space in the Leith Walk police box to exhibit some of my work over the weekend. Thanks to Simon Baker for taking photographs.

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Below: an interactive map of Scotland asking ‘What kind of place would you like to live in?’ added to by the public over the weekend. Responses included: ‘A green and sunny place’, ‘Food to be a human right’, ‘Equal’, ‘Independent’, and my favourite, ‘I want to live in a sofa bed’.

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Illustrated Awards for the Saltire Society

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Tonight two special edition illustrations were awarded as Honorary Membership gifts at a Saltire Society ceremony in Edinburgh. The recipients, Douglas Eadie and Jim Wilson, were being celebrated for their contribution to Scottish film and the cultural life of the country.

It was an honour to be asked to make these awards, and special thanks go to Evergreen Studios for their craftsmanship on the handmade elm frames.

The original artwork was ‘Nothing but Heather‘, a map inspired by the poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid.

Free Space Gallery, Edinburgh

The former Yes shop at no. 7 Easter Road in Edinburgh has kindly given me a window space for my map prints and referendum-themed greetings cards. These include prints of the Edinburgh Old Town, Imagining Scotland and March on Calton Hill, as well as greetings cards of the latter two. The gallery also stocks many great independence-related books such as Lesley Riddoch’s Blossom and National Collective’s creative volume, Inspired by Independence. Visit the Free Space website here.

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Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh

As today is Robert Louis Stevenson Day here are my favourite of his descriptions of Edinburgh, from his little-known book Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes, which first inspired me to draw the city.

EdinburghCastle‘Few places, if any, offer a more barbaric display of contrasts to the eye. In the very midst stands one of the most satisfactory crags in nature—a Bass Rock upon dry land, rooted in a garden, shaken by passing trains, carrying a crown of battlements and turrets, and describing its war-like shadow over the liveliest and brightest thoroughfare of the new town.’

‘The poor man may roost up there in the centre of Edinburgh, and yet have a peep of the green country from his window; he shall see the quarters of the well-to-do fathoms underneath, with their broad squares and gardens; he shall have nothing overhead but a few spires, the stone top-gallants of the city; and perhaps the wind may reach him with a rustic pureness, and bring a smack of the sea, or flowering lilacs in the spring.’

‘Beautiful as she is, she is not so much beautiful as interesting. She is pre-eminently Gothic, and all the more so since she has set herself off with some Greek airs, and erected classic temples on her crags. In a word and above all, she is a curiosity.’